|The Realms of Rysanthis|
The Map is somewhat special to me as it represents a thawing time in my life when I began to return to fiction, fantasy, and role playing games after a self imposed monastic period regarding these things for almost 20 years.
Then, one day, back in about 2007 or 2008, I started writing some medieval and fantasy themed fiction set in the world of Rysanthis. And while I was doing this, I remembered how much I had loved fantasy literature and gaming.
I really had missed it but at the time I had devoted myself completely and exclusively to spiritual pursuits.
The only exception had been the Hobbit and the Chronicles of Narnia, both of which had been loved by my kids. I read the Hobbit to my son during a three day camping and hiking trip when he was eight and to this day it is his favorite tale. But that was the extent of fantasy in my very austere life style.
Somehow, the Holy Grail had remained elusively and always just beyond reach, and the things I had labored long for do not seem to have ever materialized,though in their place were many life lessons for which I will be eternally grateful and which I now count more valuable to me to the air castles I had sought to build. I use them term air castles with regards to human endeavors alone and please do not construe it as a derogatory remark about subjects of faith.
As Rysanthis started to expand as an idea, I went to a local gaming store and bought some dice and miniatures. And having not a single rule book in my house or any other rpg resource, I sat my kids (then 11 and 12) down at our kitchen table and created basic D&D characters from memory alone.
My son was a Merling Prince, a half Mer Folk, half human. My daughter created a swashbuckling female buchaneer. And I ran the first game I had played in for almost two decades. And we had geat fun for several games, just the three of us. They made friends with a certain Captain Hakim who piloted a cutter called the Scimitar and sailing up and down the coasts of Rysanthis had a few wonderful adventures! I recall that the above map always had to be placed prominently in view by my daughter whenever we played and she would look at it often, as if it helped her to visualize the game. Also paramount to her was the action of rolling the d20! She would get very excited when it was time to do this, even though the only mechanic was me saying, "Okay, you need such and such number to hit this monster!" Rysanthis was the name of the game, they had no conept of D&D having never seen or heard of it. They would say, "Hey Dad, can we play Rysanthis?"
Meantime, we moved states, and didn't play Rysanthis very often due to the work involved in settling into a new locale.
I should note that the city state of "Levius" was named after my son Levi and his father was the Emperor of the kingdom of Hafalla that is pictured--Alistar was his character's name, a wayward prince who wanted to adventure instead of be bound to the duties of the throne and he was always eluding his father's men-at-arms who tried to forcibly bring him back. "Hethron" in the north is named for my daughter Heather and was where Illisa, her character, was born but she was spirited away as a bay and was unaware of her royal lineage.
The concept of Rysanthis was that Dragons had once ruled the world, heroes had driven them out and established man, and the dragon Guard, an old order of knights that fought the Dragons, maintained an army along the borderlands to prevent the incursions of these monsters which came in two sorts, those of animal itelligence which were essentially simply giant winged lizards, and the intelligent sort, once believed extinct. The latter Dragons were sorcerers and had taught mankind the black arts and were worshiped as gods by certain primitive tribes.
My daughter eventually decided she didn't care for role playing very much, though my son really took to the hobby and after paying in some groups, discovered he liked D&D best over all systems, at least as of this writing. And I have so enjoyed coming back to this fun and fascinating hobby and aside from the games, have made some important friendships and spent a lot of quality time with my son.
Anyway, I kept the map as a souvenir of our voyages aboard the Scimitar and the tales I wrote. Perhaps I will upload them some time. I will see if I can drag out some old character sheets.